The Pioppi Diet by Dr Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’ Neill – 21 Day Guidelines

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You’ve read the science. Now it’s time to switch to a 21 day plan that is

1.    Full of nutritious tasty food that makes you feel full and energized.

2.    By shifting focus away from fear of fat towards insulin resistance and inflammation this 21 day plan will help you:

·      lose excess body fat in a sustainable enjoyable way and improve health irrespective of weight loss too by..

·      reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, help control blood glucose and need for medications for those with the condition, and potentially reverse/send it into remission

·      reduce high medication loads and prevent and treat heart disease

·      get you on the road to significantly reduce your risk of developing dementia and cancer.


Three meals/day and eat only until you feel full.

At least 2-4 table spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) daily.

One small handful of tree nuts (walnuts/almonds/hazelnuts/macadamias) daily.

Aim for at least 5-7 portions of fibrous vegetables and low sugar fruits a day. We suggest none or two pieces of low sugar fruits and at least five vegetables a day.

Vegetables should be included in at least two meals daily.


All added sugars (it’s everywhere, check those labels!), fruit juice, honey, and syrups.

All packaged refined carbohydrates, in particular anything flour based including all bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits, muesli bars, packaged noodles, pasta, couscous and rice.

Industrial seed oils typically used for cooking (that means no sunflower, corn or soya bean oil for example).

Snacking between meals.

From week three you can introduce a square of dark chocolate like Aseem has with his morning coffee. We encourage greater than 85% as it has the least amount of added sugar.


The World Cancer Research Fund recommends a maximum weekly limit of 500g/week of red meat and if possible eat less of the processed forms.

Beyond that there are concerns that its consumption could increase the risk of colon cancer. Although this still remains a controversial area we also advise to stick within these limits as we don’t want red meat replacing all the positive health benefits from the foods that form the base of the Pioppi Diet. Preferably opt for grass fed meat. That still means you can enjoy a weekend fry up with a couple of rashers of bacon or sausages and some Bolognese courgetti and a juicy 8 0z steak or Aseem’s Lamb curry during the week.


For one 24 hour period each week you will not eat i.e fast. This is best done by eating as normal until the end of the day and then not eating breakfast or lunch the next day – consume fluids only such as tea, coffee, sparkling water – we advise you do this on day 6-7 to start with.

If you’re vegetarian can you follow the Pioppi Diet? YES! The key is to avoid sugar and other refined carbohydrates, industrial seed oils and ensure you’re getting in the daily extra virgin olive oil and a handful of nuts.


As a nation we’re consuming way too much. And remember from the chapter on sugar alcohol in excess has a similar metabolic effect on the body. So stick within the current recommended limits of 14 units a week and drink like they do in the Mediterranean, no more than a glass of red wine with your evening meal which at that dose may even provide a benefit in protecting your heart and eventually help you to drop dead healthy and happy. As they say in Pioppi “one glass a day is the way to heaven”

After week three you will have enough time to have experience life without sugar and refined carbohydrates. You may realize that you miss bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. We advise you to think of them as treats to have infrequently in small amounts and most importantly listen to your body.


Do not sit for more than 45 mintes at a time – take 2 minute mini movement breaks.

Walk for at least 30 minutes 5 days/week – make sure it’s a brisk one.

Spend as much time as possible outdoors in and around nature (e.g parks, forests)

Take the stairs wherever possible.

Increase your movement by parking further away from the entrance to the shopping centre/office etc.


To reduce your stress levels, breathe in for 5 seconds then out for 5 seconds – for 2 minutes x 4 times daily.


Make an effort to increase time spent with friends and family each week.


Aim for a minimum of 7 hours each night.

Reduce exposure to blue light (phones, computers etc) for at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Read a review in the British Journal of General Practice of the book which concludes “Professor Dame Sue Bailey, the Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, has described the book as a ‘must have for every household and a must read for every medical student and doctor’ — I couldn’t agree more.”

Watch the intro to the Pioppi Diet and the health crisis hitting us now.

If you would like to know more about the Pioppi Diet then buy the book

Watch The Big Fat Fix movie here – download or stream for 72 hours.Listen to Dr Aseem Malhotra present at the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation conference 2017

Please see Heart Disease CareDiabetes CareObesity CareHypertension Care if you would like to know more about what you can do to help yourself and what Haughton Thornley Medical Centres is doing to help you too!

Please also take a look at “Stay Healthy” section on the left hand side for other things to help you and your family stay healthy!

Whilst Haughton Thornley Medical Centres does not endorse any specific treatment, product or diet, it does wish to bring to the attention of its patients and wider public, thought leaders who may help to improve people’s quality of lives and support our Mission Statement – “There for you all your life, your good health with our support, empowering you to live well”. The Pioppi Diet is supported by a number of different people including Andy Burnham amongst other notables. You can engage with Dr Aseem Malhotra via his twitter account @DrAseemMalhotra to find out more